News & Analysis as of

Cat's Paw

Political Speech, Discrimination and the Law: How Employers Should Respond to Charlottesville

The recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia and other news regarding the activities of white supremacists and similar groups, have served as a rude awakening for many that our national reality has shifted. These...more

Sixth Circuit Recognizes “Cat’s Paw” Theory of Liability in FMLA Retaliation

by Reminger Co., LPA on

In Marshall v. Rawlings Co., a 2-1 split decision, the Sixth Circuit recently adopted the cat’s paw theory of liability for the first time in an FMLA retaliation lawsuit. Marshall v. Rawlings Co. LLC, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS...more

Seventh Circuit Blazes Truck Driver’s Failure to Hire Claims

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Synopsis: The Seventh Circuit affirmed a summary judgment decision in favor of the employer on the plaintiff’s race discrimination and civil conspiracy claims where the employer did not hire the plaintiff after the plaintiff...more

Sixth Circuit Extends "Cat’s Paw" Liability Theory to FMLA Retaliation Claims

by Littler on

Properly identifying the decisionmaker in an employment discrimination case is important because it is the intent of the decisionmaker that determines whether an adverse employment action was motivated by a discriminatory or...more

Sixth Circuit Says "Cat's Paw" Theory Applies to FMLA Retaliation Claim

Employers sometimes defend retaliation claims by responding that the person or persons making the adverse employment decision was not aware of the plaintiff’s prior complaint. In the employment discrimination context, the...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Some time ago, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a focus on what it saw as a workplace trend, namely the characterization of people performing functions that are an integral part of the employer’s business (not plumbers...more

The Cat’s Paw Theory Burns Another Employer

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

The “Cat’s Paw Theory” in discrimination cases is based upon a fable in which a clever monkey tricks an unwitting cat to pull chestnuts from a fire, so that the monkey can make off with the chestnuts without burning himself....more

Negligent Employers May Be Held Liable For a Non-Supervisory Employee’s Discriminatory Actions Under “Cat’s Paw” Theory Says...

The Second Circuit recently adopted the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability in Title VII cases. This was hardly a surprise as other Circuit Courts had done the same after the United States Supreme Court endorsed Cat’s Paw in a...more

Employment Law Letter - Fall 2016

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Connecticut’s system of workers compensation has been in place for over a century with few major changes, and yet it seems we keep coming up with unique circumstances that raise new questions. We’d be surprised if our readers...more

Second Circuit “Purrs” On Cat’s Paw Liability Case

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Recently, the Second Circuit held that the “cat’s paw” theory of liability may be used to support recovery for claims of retaliation where an employer negligently relies on information provided by a...more

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting...more

Cat’s Paw Making New Tracks: Second Circuit Extends Cat’s Paw Principle to Retaliation Claims and to Low-Level Employees

The “cat’s paw” doctrine, a concept first coined by Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner in 1990 and adopted by the Supreme Court in 2011, applies when an employee is subjected to an adverse employment action by a decision...more

Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone...more

Employers Beware of the Cat's Paw

by Baker Donelson on

The cat scratches again! Five years ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down Staub v. Proctor Hospital, wherein it held that an employer may be liable for a supervisor's discriminatory animus when the independent...more

Second Circuit Adopts “Cat’s Paw” Theory of Imputing Nonsupervisory Employee’s Retaliatory Intent to Employer

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., No. 15-3239-cv (August 29, 2016), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals set new precedent when it held that an employer may be held liable for the retaliatory intent of a...more

Employment Law This Week®: Retaliation Guidance, Class Action Waivers, “Persuader Rule” Injunction, “Cat’s Paw” Doctrine

by Epstein Becker & Green on

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week® - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field, brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that...more

Ambulance Service Liable for Sexting Monkey?

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

An ambulance service may be liable for damages arising from sexting by a monkey it employed, the Second Circuit ruled on August 29. Actually, the monkey was a man, but the court sided with a female employee who sued the...more

The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Second Circuit Rules Cat’s Paw Theory Applies to Nonmanagerial Coworkers

Rarely has the maxim “hard cases make bad law” found greater application than in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to expand the “cat’s paw” doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States in...more

The Monkey and the Cat: Second Circuit Adopts “Cat’s Paw” Theory of Liability for the Acts of a Non-Supervisory Employee in Title...

by Genova Burns LLC on

On August 29, 2016, a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revived a retaliation lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under the “cat’s paw” theory of liability. In...more

About that new “cat’s paw” decision . . .

Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is “negligent” in...more

Second Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Retaliation Claim Citing Cat’s Paw Liability

by Cole Schotz on

The Second Circuit recently invoked a 17th century fable in reviving an employee’s retaliation claim against her employer even where the employer had no retaliatory intent. In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, SDNY,...more

Second Circuit Holds That Non-Supervisory Employee’s Retaliatory Intent May Be Imputed to an Employer Under Title VII

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., the Second Circuit adopted the “cat’s paw” theory of liability under Title VII and held that the retaliatory intent of a low-level, non-supervisory employee may be imputed to an...more

Cat’s Paw Theory Of Discrimination Adopted By 2nd Circuit - False Sexting Claims Prove Employer’s Downfall

by Fisher Phillips on

The federal appeals court in New York just adopted a broad standard for employer liability as a consequence of discriminatory acts by their employees. This standard opens the door to a significant increase in claims being...more

Quirky Question #287: “Cat’s Paw” Claims – How could an employer violate antidiscrimination laws, even though the decision-making...

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Question: We just went through a five-person layoff, and one of the individuals laid off (an African American) has hired a lawyer and is threatening to sue for racial discrimination. I have enormous confidence in the fairness...more

“Cat’s Paw” Liability in Faculty Decision-Making

Children’s fables are often an overlooked source of wisdom. Take for example Aesop’s 17th century fable “The Monkey and the Cat.” As the story goes, a cat and monkey lived in the same house as pets. The monkey, desiring...more

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